American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) developed and conducted a truck driver survey regarding usage of the smartphone-based truck parking apps.

 

A total of 1,103 drivers completed the survey. While a majority of the respondents were male (83%), 17 percent were female, representing a much higher percentage than the industry overall where women represent just 6.7 percent of the driver population.16 A majority of respondents (90.3%) were between 25 and 64 years of age, with drivers 45 to 64 representing 66.2 percent of the respondents. Additionally, a majority of respondents (68%) have 11 or more years of experience as a commercial driver.

 

In recognition of the need for real-time truck parking availability information, a number of providers have launched smartphone-based apps for drivers over the last several years. These apps provide information on the number of available spaces, amenities offered, and other useful information. One challenge for drivers using the parking availability apps is the federal “one button press” restriction on handheld mobile devices while driving a commercial vehicle, which generally means a driver must already be parked somewhere to utilise the truck parking availability app for parking needs down the road.

 

Drivers were asked about their use of truck parking apps over the last 12 months. 57.3 percent of drivers indicated that they had utilized a truck parking app in the past year. This is similar to research from 2016 where 55.5 percent of drivers reported using websites and smartphone-based apps to find available truck parking.

 

As would be expected, drivers with longer average trip lengths were more likely to report using a truck parking app than local or regional drivers whose average trips do not typically require them to locate truck parking. Among truck drivers on long-haul and inter-regional routes, usage of this apps is around 65%.

 

Use of truck parking apps was also more prevalent among younger drivers, with 68.7% of drivers under 45 years of age reporting use. It is unknown if this is a function of veteran drivers already knowing when and where they plan to park, or younger drivers being more tech-savvy.

 

Other notable findings on the use of smartphone-based apps for truck parking availability include the following:

 

Drivers paid by the mile were approximately two times more likely to use a truck parking app than drivers paid by the hour.

Use of truck parking apps was highest among drivers working for larger fleets, with 65% of drivers working for fleets of 1000+ trucks using truck parking apps, compared to 51% of drivers at fleets with 20 or fewer trucks.

 

In order to gauge driver loyalty with truck parking apps, respondents were asked to indicate if they were still using the same truck parking apps as they had used in the past 12 months. 71% of respondents indicated that they were still using the same apps to identify available truck parking.

 

The top three most frequently cited truck parking apps were:

 

Trucker Path (46.4%),

MyPilot20 (26.3%) and

TruckSmart (18.0%).